Baggage Claim Movie Review
If you thought 2013 was a banner year for strong female characters, then you haven't seen Baggage Claim, a 27 Dresses-wannabe that has the beautiful Paula Patton so desperate to find a man that she resorts to stalking her sleazy exes in hope of rekindling something that was never there to begin with. Combine that nauseating premise with terrible writing and humorless direction from novelist/writer/director David E. Talbert and you have one of the worst movies of the year.
Patton also delivers one of the worst performances of her career, though the problem is less with her talent than with other contributing factors: 1) the dreadful concept, plot and overall writing; 2) Patton's unwise decision to get involved in this project in the first place (money must be the only reason); and 3) a presumably high level of carbon dioxide on the set that causes her and her supporting cast to operate in slightly deficient form.
Patton's character is just so dreadful to watch. Here's a beautiful woman who whines, cries and desperately claws for a man in her life. She is the epitome of anti-feminism, but even worse is that I don't think Talbert even realizes, let alone acknowledges, that he has created such a monster. It's one thing to intentionally make a character who is shallow, reliant and submissive; it's another to accidentally do it.
Sure, she comes around in the end ("I don't need a man... I like who I am!"), but the fact that the audience has to suffer through this abysmal movie for an hour and a half before she gets to that predictable, inevitable conclusion is offensive, or at the very least stupid. And of course she ends up with a man anyway (her best friend, shocker!).
In fairness, the idea of a flight attendant hunting down her exes by figuring out what flights they'll be on could have worked... with the right director and screenwriter. Many romantic comedies are built on forehead-slapping premises like this, but they aren't all a waste. The difference is that those movies are actually well written, well done and funny, and not made by David E. Talbert.
Baggage Claim is an offensively bad movie, compounded by the fact that Talbert didn't even intend it to be. But whether you care about female empowerment or not, the movie is just bad, bland and not at all funny. This is one movie best left lost in transit.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.